When it comes to title insurance, it is likely that the seller will pay the owner's policy (in Illinois this is customary per contract - unless it is negotiated differently in your transaction. It is always negotiable.), and you, as the buyer, will pay the lender's policy.
The owner policy is more expensive than the lender policy, and it is based on the purchase price of the house -- typically about .05% - 1% of the purchase price. The lender policy is usually a flat rate, and can range from $200-$400, depending on the title insurance company.
Please keep in mind these are estimates only.
As a buyer, even though the seller will be paying for the owner's title insurance and customarily chooses the title company in Illinois, be aware that you cannot be obligated to use a certain title company, so if you have a preference, make it known.
As for where transactions close in Illinois, they can close an attorney's office if the attorney is also a registered title agent. Otherwise, they typically close at the title company handling the transaction. Regardless of where the transaction closes, the escrow fee exists because there is still a title company involved that handles the process.
Fees that are the lender's cost, i.e., settlement costs, can be reduced -- they are negotiable. There are some superflous fees such as "processing"fees that can be upcharged for profit, and even duplicated under different names Ilike underwriting fees, application fees, settlement fees.
Good for you for carefully reading your good faith estimate and asking questions!
Closings in Chicago don't need to physically take place at the office of the Title company. They can take place at an off site-location so long as all involved agree to it and communication can take place between all involved from that location to close the transaction between seller,buyer and lender. So even though a closing may occur at an Attorneys office, the Title company is still involved and will want to be paid (there may be a reduction for not using their offices).
Regarding the Title Insurance cost, I would contact your Attorney to go through the numbers. The seller is responsible for providing Title Insurance with additional insurance required by the primary lender payable by the borrower.
Always consult your Attorney if you have questions about the closing process and the breakdown of the costs. It's part of the service they provide.
Best of luck,
Transactions typically are held at attorneys office.
You need to get several quotes and see some typical HUD statements to clear your mind about actual fees. Being in Cook County, look also at maybe city fees and taxes.